Under the “fair use” rule of copyright law, an author may make limited use of another author’s work without asking permission. However, “fair use” is open to interpretation. Fair use is intended to support teaching, research, and scholarship, but educational purpose alone does not make every use of a work fair. It is always important to analyze how you are going use a particular work against the following four factors of fair use.
U.S. Copyright Office provides a fact sheet
What is plagiarism?
“To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source.”
plagiarism. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.Retrieved August 10, 2010, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarism
When should you cite your sources?
Types of plagiarism
From A&S - Students and Teachers Working Together:
Academic honesty is expected, and dishonesty will not be tolerated and can lead to expulsion from the College and the University.
1. It is expected that the academic work the students perform for their courses will be their own work
2. If students are unsure of acceptable practices, such as how to handle cooperative work with other students, they should inquire of the teacher.
3. If the policy regarding educational aids is not specified, students should assume that no aids are permitted on exams.
4. Students should neither receive nor give unauthorized assistance on any assignment, exam, paper, or project.
5. All quotes and ideas from other sources should be properly attributed.
1. Teachers should make clear their policies on matters of:
·cooperative work with other students.
·educational aids such as calculators and note sheets.
2. Teachers are expected to report suspected violations of academic dishonesty policies to the appropriate authority.
Copyright protection covers both published and unpublished works as well as out-of-print materials.
Facts, ideas, procedures, processes, systems, concepts, principles or discoveries cannot be copyrighted. However, some of these can be protected by patent or trade secret laws.
Copyright protection currently lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. If there is more than one author copyright protection lasts for the life of the last author's death plus 70 years. Copyright protection for materials created by a business may last for 95 years from publication.
Click on Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States for more information. The Digital Slider is also a useful tool to assess copyrighted materials that are now in public domain.